Background: This study focused on investigating the prevalence of nutritional supplement (NS) usage, establishing their source and the motivating factors for the usage of NS among Gym users in Kampala city, Uganda.
Methods: The study employed a cross-sectional research design. Multistage random sampling techniques were used to select 45 gym users among the 5 divisions that constitute Kampala city. Data were collected using questionnaires and analyzed using SPSS Version 26, where means, SD, frequencies and percentages were obtained. Chi-square tests were used for categorical comparisons between variables.
Results: The results showed that there were more male participants (62.2%) than female participants (37.8%). The majority (76.9%) of gym users obtained NS from retail stores such as pharmacies, (10.2%) from their sports coaches, (7.7%) nutritionists/dieticians, and (5.1%) from team mates. Non-professional gym users (62.3%) reported higher levels of energy drink consumption than professional gym users (26.7%). The consumption of vitamins, herbal products and proteins was also considerably high. We also identified coaches/trainers (30.8%) as the main source of information, followed by nutritionists/dieticians (23.1%) and online websites (20.5%). Most gym users strongly agreed that supplements increase endurance training, increase strength, and make one healthier.
Conclusions: The prevalence of nutritional supplement usage among gym users was high, with energy drinks and herbal products being the most preferred supplements.